By David Ficarri
Thomas Jefferson famously wrote, “Were it left to me to decide if we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”
The “modem” newspaper has been around since the 1500s and since that time, they served several purposes. The most basic and fundamental purpose is to provide information to its readers and to deliver that information with accuracy and proper context. Secondly, a newspaper is doing its job when it can educate, enlighten and entertain its readers. To me, any newspaper is at its very best though when it becomes a pillar of the community of which it serves. It is a beacon that shines its light not only on our failings but also our successes. To chronicle our triumphs and tragedies and balance those contrasting forces is a tightrope that any great newspaper walks skillfully. If a newspaper can paint a picture for the reader and still allow for its humanity and compassion to shine through, then it has served its community well.
From its inception, the newspaper has taken its readers on a walk through history. From the chronicles of the Jefferson lead American Revolution to a Civil War that split this country in two to the turbulence of the 1960’s and today, the newspaper has given its readers a front row seat to current events. It has survived censorship attempts and financial challenges. However, as this new digital age has emerged, no newspaper is immune to the challenges that have emerged.
That being said, the newspaper has always stayed true to its core responsibilities and objectives.
When you get to the end reading the paper, you get the contrasting feelings of joy and sadness. The joy comes from knowing the newspaper has fulfilled all of its promises to you, the reader. The sadness comes in knowing that you’ve reached the end of that edition.
As you’re reading this, you’re probably realizing that this will be the last edition of Gazette 2.0. It is a sad day here for all of us, especially those that put their heart, soul, energy and money into making Gazette 2.0 the best possible newspaper that we could deliver to you, our faithful and loyal readers. We can’t thank you enough for all of the kind words, the encouragement, the support and even the criticism because with all of those, we knew that we were fulfilling our promises to you.
So, when you close that last page of this edition, we hope that you enjoyed this ride as much as we have. From 100 years of the McKees Rocks Gazette (later renamed Suburban Gazette) and its offspring the Gazette 2.0, your newspaper shined as a bright beacon in your community and that we’ll always be proud and grateful for and who knows, maybe in the near future, we can deliver a new version that carries on the proud tradition of the past versions.
For now, as this edition closes, we say thanks for the memories and if this is indeed the final goodbye, then we hope we’ve served you well.